Non-Verbal Live Performances for Non-Koreans

See & Do Tours

Up-left: Fan Dance,Up-right:Nanta,Down-left:Tap Dogs,Down-right:Busker Buddy Festa


The most populated city in the country, Seoul! Wonder what kinds of performances Seoul hosts each year? Seoul’s higher population density means much more diverse performances held in Seoul compared to other areas. Many talented people show off their talents through stage live performances, movies, and street performances that entertain the ears and eyes of audiences.
Seoul is visited by not only Korean tourists but also foreign tourists far more than any other cities in Korea. Recently, the number of non-verbal performances is increasing. That’s because even non-Korean visitors can participate in the show. We would like to introduce some noteworthy performances in addition to the non-verbal performances.







What is a Non-Verbal Performance?




First of all, what is a “non-verbal” performance? Non-verbal performance literally means that there is no speech or dialogue. It also refers to the stage style or a show that includes experimental features. Specifically, various movements or facial expressions are used instead of words to present the story. Non-verbal performance is a performance wherein recent art performances developed into various forms are combined into a traditional pantomime. The proportion of popular format has increased and became popular worldwide since the 1990s. As such, various forms of performances are continuously introduced in commercial theaters.






Examples of Non-verbal Performances



<Tap Dogs, Australia>




In the early days, the representative nonverbal performances were mainly performed with percussion instruments. 1995’s “Tap Dogs” by Dein Perry is known as a representative non-verbal performance. It has various stage compositions featuring tap dancing to the rhythm of percussion instruments and performance art. Another representative performance is “Stomp.” It created a rhythmical stage with daily tools.





<Cooking 1997, Korea>




Non-verbal performances are spreading quickly around the world. As such, popular performances started to be revitalized and popular in Korea. “Nanta” is one of the representative Korean non-verbal performance. “Nanta” is a pure Korean expression meaning “pounding and beating wildly.” The story drew inspiration from a hectic kitchen scene before a wedding banquet. The show especially incorporated “samulnori” or traditional percussion sound and rhythm. “Jump” is another noteworthy non-verbal performance inspired by Korean Taekwondo and Tekken.






2019 Hongdae Non-verbal Performers Wanted



<Busker Buddy Festa>




Ever dreamed of performing? Sick of just watching all these non-verbal performances? Why don’t you participate and show off your talents to everyone? “Busker Buddy Festa” combines the words Busker (street performer) and Buddy (friend). It is a festival where artists perform in the street. This unique street festival showcases up-and-coming talents and performers in various genres. The participants in “Busker Buddy Festa” will surely make fans out of the residents and tourists visiting the area near Hongik University.
Volunteers should apply in teams, not as individuals. They can perform live music, act, and other formats for about 30 minutes on stage. Deadline for applications is August 22, 2019. Why not give it a try if you’re interested?